Today’s marketing climate raises a significant challenge for marketers — finding a marketing solution that’s both economical and efficient when it comes to responding to the ever-changing consumer environment. Long gone are the days of generic marketing kits as marketers have come to realize that every market and region has a different target and each consumer has their own interests. It is important to address all of these factors in order to generate the best response.

Although marketers understand that the most effective marketing materials are those targeted for individual audiences and demographics, this can create a budget challenge as consumer behaviors and opinions constantly change, which requires non-stop revision of materials. The struggle for marketers becomes how to quickly create these targeted materials to keep up with customer demands while remaining within a tight budget.

The emergence of sophisticated online marketing management platforms is making it possible to meet the budget demands of both the consumer goods manufacturer and its distributed marketing environments, with the ability to produce localized cross-media marketing materials that effectively respond to the dynamic consumer climate. Additional benefits include the following:

Access to all marketing materials from one scalable platform
Too often when companies implement a national campaign, they are faced with local distributors that want to tailor the message to their market and not use generic materials, while the brand managers want to maintain consistency to protect the global or national brand image. Both needs are viable. The risk companies run by not offering corporate-approved material that can be localized is that the individual distributors could ultimately create and distribute their own materials and might not follow the desired brand messaging.

Implementing an online marketing solution can solve this dilemma with the ability to allow corporate approved templates promoting the national campaign to be housed on a single platform accessible by each distributor. The distributors then have the flexibility to produce the localized customer-centric materials needed to build brand awareness in their market to drive sales.

Additionally, this capability makes it possible to eliminate the cost and variability of multiple printers, because all materials are ordered through the platform and developed and printed by the same source.

Maintain consistent messaging while customizing materials
Online marketing management platforms provide manufacturers with a closed-loop system that goes beyond traditional web-to-print offerings. These web-based solutions support the challenges distribution organizations face with the ability to streamline and integrate all messaging — from print ads and sales collateral to personalized direct mail and personalized websites, or PURLs, that can offer more detailed information.

An example of a streamlined program using an online marketing platform is as follows: An energy drink company launched a national campaign and rather than producing a large quantity of promotional materials up front, the company gave its distributors one week to customize pre-approved portions of various templates to fit their target audience and then order the exact quantities of materials needed. The company then consolidated these orders and produced the final quantity in one print run, saving time and money. Additionally, this method gave ownership of the final messaging of the printed or electronic materials to each distributor, while providing assurance to the corporate marketing department that the brand messaging remained consistent. The end result is customized messaging that leads to a well-received campaign. The company also saved money by not printing generic campaign kits for each distributor.

Receive reporting and tracking metrics from one source
Analyzing a company’s marketing campaigns to determine what works, what does not and what can be improved in the future is important to every business. When choosing an end-to-end online marketing management platform, it is important to ensure that the system provides customizable reporting that will fit a business structure and data analysis needs. The ability to access a multitude of data including accountability metrics, purchase patterns and profit and loss calculations can help to plan more effectively for future campaigns. Understanding the usage and order habits resulting from campaigns also can help to determine the direction of future campaigns.

Ultimately, any online marketing management system needs to be robust enough to provide a consumer goods manufacturer and its distributors with an end-to-end process to succeed in engaging its customers. The brand’s value is strengthened through the ability to deliver a streamlined, cost effective way to produce more effective marketing materials that meet the individual needs of a customer base. Integrating this technology into a marketing plan can be the key to successful marketing campaigns in the future and a reduction in impersonal material that doesn’t effectively reach the customer and encourage action. BI